Special session of Texas Legislature begins
AUSTIN, Texas – It's back to the drawing board for Texas lawmakers as they make their way back to Austin.
A special session began at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
The lawmakers will once again tackle big issues they couldn't come to an agreement on while in the regular session.
When the 85th Texas Legislature ended its regular session in May, it was not the end.
A little more than a month later, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the state senators and representatives would return to the Capitol to "finish the people's business."
"All of the other issues that are on the call are really unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer money because you know what happens? It costs probably millions of dollars for us to go back to the legislature," said Representative Armando Walle, D-Dist. 140.
Among the first issues is the so-called Sunset Bill. That includes extending the expiration dates of the Texas Medical Board and state health-related agencies. Otherwise, they would soon close their doors. Texas Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick said without the medical board, the state could not license new doctors or renew licenses for existing doctors.
"It's not that we didn't get the work done. We got it done. He just didn't like the outcome. This is about a GOP primary wish list," said Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston.
Abbott also has a list of 19 other items he wants lawmakers to consider. Pay increases for teachers, preventing cities from regulating what property owners do with trees on their land and property tax reform will also be discussed.
Republican State Senator Paul Bettencourt said the current rate of property tax increases is not sustainable.
"You can't let property taxes grow two thirds, two and a third, three times faster than peoples' income year after year. You're really putting people under too much pressure and the taxpayers of Texas deserve better," Bettencourt said.
Copyright 2017 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.